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Thomas Hobbes. Engraving of Thomas Hobbes (1588- 1679), English philosopher. Hobbes travelled widely and met many leading scientists including Galileo and Descartes. An enthusiasm for geometry led Hobbes to try and describe human society in terms of mathematics. In this early attempt at sociology he tried to explain how the behaviour of people, as the makers and matter of society, could be predicted using the principles of physical science that governed the material world. In his major work, Leviathan, the characters were subject to forces of attraction and repulsion. Hobbes' controversial views led to him being accused of atheism and having his books banned in 1666.
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